Reconnecting Local Businesses Through Social Media

Independent Shops

There is some real light at the end of the lockdown tunnel. While we still don’t know exactly when all businesses will be able to open up, we now have the roadmap announced by the government. Combined with the vaccine rollout and all the other measures in place, this finally means we all have more hope of returning to our favourite shops and local businesses soon. It also means that reconnecting local businesses with their communities is now very important.

 

This is the perfect time for local business owners to really focus on what their strategies are for welcoming customers back. There are many lessons to take from last year when planning your social campaigns. While many have adapted and found ways to thrive during the last year, there are plenty of others who are now eagerly awaiting being able to open up for the first time in many months. Whichever camp you fall into, social media advertising is perfectly placed to help ensure this next period is a successful one.

 

Start planning your return

 

I hear my friends wondering all the time during our Zoom get-togethers if this shop or that restaurant will still be there when town centres open again later this year. However, this concern is not only restricted to the high street, is important for all brands to be engaging with their local community and letting them know they are still there. Make sure you are informing your loyal customers how, with what restrictions and safety measures and, most importantly, when you will be able to welcome them back.

 

For any company that has been forced to close its doors, now is the perfect time to plan your return. From letting people know when you’ll reopen, to providing a gentle reminder of just where they can find you. Facebook has many options that you can take advantage of. One tactic is running an awareness campaign to reach as many suitable users as possible. Another could be to focus on driving traffic to your website. There are a whole host of ways to reach your ideal customer. While there has been a rise in the number of people searching for local products it is just as important that you are reaching out to them at the same time. You need to make sure that when consumers take to the streets once again it is your place that they are heading to. Focusing even a portion of your marketing budget towards raising awareness with some key audiences could make a huge difference in 2021. 

 

Even for those companies who have successfully grown their online experience, the coming months are likely to see increased competition for many sectors that were closed for various parts of last year. Following the recent announcements, the travel industry has experienced a huge boom in bookings. Many other companies will look to capitalise on the easing of restrictions. Now is the time to continue your success and to adapt once again to the changing landscape by finding the most cost-efficient way to reach your highest-valued customers.

 

Two tips to reach your VIP audience

 

One of the most effective ways to ensure your message reaches the right audience is through the use of Geofencing your ads. This approach restricts your marketing to only those users in a specific location and prevents the need for more costly, nationwide ad campaigns. While some big companies have used this to great effect, even before lockdown, the impact it can now have for smaller businesses is just as important. Don’t waste your budget on people who live too far away to come to visit once you’re open again. Instead, focus all your efforts on connecting with the people right on your doorstep.

 

The other great tool at your disposal is the use of the data you already have as a business. Providing your customer lists are GDPR compliant, they are some of the most valuable records your business owns. This can range from inviting guests who booked at your restaurant last year to be the first to come back this year to showing off your latest designs to your biggest fans as they prepare to face the prospect of returning to an actual office. While the Pareto Principle in marketing is nothing new its impact is still as significant. Now is the time to really focus on your customers who trust and believe in your brand. Identifying your most loyal supports can help them become ambassadors for you. 

 

Moving beyond paid social

 

Combining your paid efforts with a clear organic strategy helps to reinforce your message while also allowing for more of a conversation. This can be used to answer any questions concerned visitors may have or allow you to spotlight something special that your followers can engage with. Improving your engagement is a fantastic way to stand out against other brands and for those who are already great at this, you will know that clear communication is as important as it’s ever been for your fans. 

Coming up with the right strategy may sound complicated but with the right Paid Social account management you can make sure you get your message across. For all the local businesses across all our communities, now is the time to reconnect with your customers and show people that you are still there for them for 2021 and beyond.